21 April 2016

Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia - An Easy Italian Bread

Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia - An Easy Italian Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com

A friend was putting on an Italian-themed dinner last weekend and asked me to bring something. When I told her I'd make focaccia, she was so excited. Don't you just love cooking for people like that, who really appreciate it! I left the tomatoes off, since the main dish was tomato-y enough.

As my "regulars" know, I love to knead bread dough by hand (it's very therapeutic!); but my focaccia requires no kneading, no food processor, no stand mixer. Just stir it up and let it rest in the refrigerator for one to three days. It practically makes itself!

Use a good olive oil, one with a flavor you really like because there's olive oil in it, under it and on it. You can leave off the tomatoes or replace them with something else: caramelized onions, sprigs of rosemary, sliced or roughly chopped olives, shredded Parmesan, coarse sea salt.

Just don't add too many things or too much; this isn't a pizza. Great with the meal or before the meal with a glass of wine. Do you consider bread to be a legitimate appetizer? 

Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia


(Makes one 18x13-inch)

4 dip-and-sweep cups (20 ounces/567 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 3/4 cup (14 fluid ounces) water, room temperature
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan


1 Start focaccia dough one to three days ahead. Measure or weigh the flour into a 1.5-quart bowl. Oil a 2-quart glass measure or bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast. Add water and 3 tablespoons olive oil, and stir until thoroughly combined. Continue stirring slowly for 1 minute. Stir in remaining flour about a quarter cup at a time, reserving the final quarter cup for shaping the soft and slightly sticky dough into a somewhat smooth but very loose "ball." Just sprinkle a bit of flour onto the dough in the bowl and fold it onto itself several times, adding the remaining flour a little at a time. 

2 Place the smooth but very loose "ball" of dough in the oiled 2-quart glass measure or bowl; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread the oil over the surface. Cover with loose lid or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to three days.

3 Remove dough from refrigerator. Line an 18x13x1-inch half-sheet pan with a sheet of parchment paper; oil the parchment-lined pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Scrape dough out onto middle of prepared baking sheet. With oiled hands, press out the dough a bit; don‘t try to fill the pan. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap; let rest and warm for 2 hours. 


Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia - An Easy Italian Bread / www.delightfulrepast.com

4 Uncover and, with oiled hands, stretch and press out the dough to fit the pan. If it’s too springy, cover and let relax for 15 minutes before patting it out. Repeat if necessary. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, pressing them into the dough with your fingers. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until very puffy, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.

5 During last 20 minutes, preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Just before placing it in the oven, dimple (gently poke) the dough again with your fingers and sprinkle with herbs (and perhaps salt or cheese). Place in oven, and then immediately turn temperature down to 425F/220C/Gas7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Loosen focaccia from pan with a spatula and slide onto a rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. On cutting board, cut into 32 2x3-inch pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Note: If serving later or even the next day, wrap the cut focaccia in foil and store at room temperature. Reheat, wrapped, at 375F/190C/Gas5 for 10 minutes.

59 comments:

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Sun-dried tomatoes – hah! I guess I know raisins when I see them. I didn’t eat grape nuts with raisins for the first 20 years of my life for nada. All the same, your tastes for homemade bread are worthy of fame. As little as I have to do with bread (organic or metaphorically for moolah), I do indulge in homemade breads on account of they seldom disappoint.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sully. I haven't had Grape-Nuts in a million years. I always loved the crunch, though I found it to be almost too sweet (can't understand why people pour sugar on it!), so didn't add raisins. Glad you make a distinction between homemade and storebought bread. I rarely eat any bread these days that I don't make myself. So much better AND better for you. As for the metaphoric bread, well ... I don't have much experience with that!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

You made it look easy and good! Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog hop!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pam, thank *you*!

Amy at love made my home said...

So delicious! One of my favourite sorts of bread! xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Glad you like it, too, Amy. Hope you'll try my recipe.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

I hae never in my entire life made homemade bread- and this looks (and is) one of my very favorites. I am soooooooooooooooo going to try this. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe - your pics made me so hungry! Appreciate the idea.

The Cranky said...

Mmmmmm, yum! I never knead the traditional way, too painful for me. Whilst I'm visiting Mom I'm going to make her some olive-topped focaccia, using your recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michele, I'm so glad. I get really excited about someone making bread for the first time! Be sure to let me know how you liked it. Or if you have any questions.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Jacqueline, that's wonderful! We love it with olives, too. Then you can show the kidling how it's done!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I am a homemade bread girl, all the way, Jean, and your focaccia looks and sounds terrific. I'm sure your friend was thrilled that you brought this to her Italian meal. Isn't it nice when people enjoy and appreciate your food?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Kitty! I like making food for everyone, but it IS especially enjoyable when the person is one who really notices what s/he is eating!

Cranberry Morning said...

My daughter loves focaccia. I should make this for her when she comes to visit in June! Thanks, Jean. :-)) Looks delicious. Laughed at 'this isn't a pizza.'

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, that would be great if you'd make it for her! Glad you appreciated that 'isn't a pizza' line!

Cranberry Morning said...

My daughter loves focaccia. I should make this for her when she comes to visit in June! Thanks, Jean. :-)) Looks delicious. Laughed at 'this isn't a pizza.'

Marilyn Lesniak said...

I love sun dried tomatoes but seem to only add them to salads or pasta. I need this recipe in my life. Thanks Jean for sharing t #ThursdayFavoriteThings.

Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table said...

I love foccacia and my mom simply adores it! Thinking I need to surprise her with a homemade version next time she's over for dinner - and I know she would love the flavors here! Yum :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marilyn, thank you so much! I love visiting your blog!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kathryn. When you make it, do let me know how your mom liked it!

Angie Schneider said...

I always love this Italian classic. Yours looks bakery perfect, Jean.

Michelle Nahom said...

I'd really like to try this, Jean. I'm not much of a baker, but I love focaccia and sun dried tomatoes are so good!

Mildred said...

I know this was a delicious addition to the meal. Wishing you a great weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thanks -- *you* know all about "bakery perfect" with all the gorgeous things that come out of your oven!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Michelle, even someone who is not really a baker can make *this* bread! I hope you'll give it a try.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mildred. Of course, I ate way too much (bread is my one weakness)!

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased to announce that I'm mending my dougphobic ways and have made my first naan. And my plans are to make my own focaccia. I'm going to pin your recipe and give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Anonymous, it makes me so happy when someone overcomes his/her "doughphobic" ways! You can soooooo make this! Do come back and tell me all about it.

Jeanie said...

Jean, this looks just delicious! Rick is the breadmaker at Team Gypsy and he's done some good foccacia but I think he needs this recipe. The sun dried tomatoes would make it extra wonderful! Your instructions are excellent!

Thanks for coming by The Marmelade Gypsy! It brought a huge smile to my face! (And yellow flowers are my favorites, too!)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Jeanie. I like to write the instructions in such a way that even someone who's never made it before can have success.

Pondside said...

I'd certainly never thought of making my own focaccia, but your instructions are so very clear that I think I could do it. It is really the perfect 'wow' item to bring to a potluck.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pondside, I do hope you will! It's really easy -- but you don't have to tell anyone! ;-)

Cocoa and Lavender said...

This must be a sign from the Universe! Mark said to me yesterday, "We need to make that Italian flat bread - you know, the one with the dimples!" This coming from the man who speaks Italian and lived in Rome for a year... Go figure! Thanks for this recipe, Jean! I look forward to making it soon!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Wonderful! Do let me know how Mark liked it! (I wish I knew Italian.)

Beatrice Euphemie said...

I've always wanted to make this and it seems easy enough for even me to do! I like the ideas for different toppings, too. I need to surprise my family with this at the next pasta dinner! Thanks for the recipe!

Tony Grant said...

Lovely Jean. I like Italian artisan bread with a extra virgin olive oil sprinkled with fresh herbs to dip it into. Alice is staying with her friend Fey in Bologna at the moment. Bologna is famous for its cuisine. I am sure she is partaking!!!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, let me know how your family liked it! (And, also, if you find any of my directions unclear.)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tony! My friend put out olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Some people put chopped garlic in the dipping oil, but I prefer just herbs in the oil. I'm sure Alice is having a fabulous time in Bolgna! Reminds me, I posted Spag Bol a few weeks ago and don't think I even mentioned that name, which is not known over here.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

I had a new idea today, Jean. I'm thinking about setting up a dinner party experiment in which I cook up one new delightful repast recipe each week or month. As I want to freshen up my own meals, I think it would be fun to bring friends into the fold. Thanks for another tasty recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, thanks so much! That is such a cool idea! Keep me posted.

Pam said...

Your focaccia looks and sounds delicious! I've always wanted to try it, so thanks for the inspiration!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pam! I hope you'll try it soon.

Marilyn Lesniak said...

Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed. Please visit #OverTheMoon on Sunday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings for more sharing fun! Don't forget to Comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and get a chance to be featured!

Mari said...

Hi Jean! Thanks for stopping at my blog. Your recipes looks so good! I love sun dried tomatoes and this looks like a good way to use some. I also like the idea of using a food processor to beat the pastry for cream puffs. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marilyn, thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mari! Yes, I'm getting more and more willing to let my machines take over some of the work!

Edye Nicole said...

This looks amazing! Such a unique and yummy looking recipe :)

Blessings,
Edye // Gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Edye.

April J Harris said...

Your Sun Dried Tomato Focaccia looks amazing, Jean. I love that it can be made partially in advance as well. I'm looking forward to giving your recipe a try. Pinned. Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, April! I'm into cooking ahead in a big way -- get the heavy lifting out of the way on a less busy day!

April J Harris said...

I agree, Jean, it's wonderful to get things done ahead of time! Just wanted to let you know that I'm featuring your Focaccia at this week's Hearth and Soul Hop. Thank you again for sharing it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thanks so much! I wish all the people out there who have never made yeast bread would give this one a try!

Swathi Iyer said...

Jean this foccacia, is really killer, I need to try it, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Swathi! I so appreciate the social media shares, too. I hope you'll make this sometime.

Coffee and Crumpets said...

what a lovely focaccia! It's one of my favourite breads to make because you can get so creative! I've used cherry tomato before but I love your sun dried tomato version, a nice pop of vibrant flavor! Looks gorgeous too.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, C and C! The sun-dried tomatoes do have a lovely flavour, but some of them will fall off when you slice it, so you just have to pile them back on.

Debbie Harris said...

Hi Jean~~ It's just about dinner time, and oh my does this ever look tasty! I get lost in anything bread related. I will certainly be making this, and hopefully I will be able to share it with my husband. ;)
Thank you for your sweet visit and delightful comment.
I agree with you, everyone likes a beautiful looking pie.
I have followed you through e mail too as I do NOT want to miss any of your posts from now on.

Bless you~~

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, thank you. Much appreciated! I love bread so much I wish it wasn't necessary to eat anything else!

Debbie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! We love focaccia but it is so expensive to buy around here. I will definitely be trying this recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debbie, that's wonderful. I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how you liked it!

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